Lookout at burglary left mobile phone in back garden

Man sentenced after his phone was found following robbery at elderly couple’s home

A man who acted as a lookout during the burglary of a couple in their 90s and was caught after leaving his mobile phone at the scene has been given a suspended sentence. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the son of the elderly couple came to the house after the break-in and heard ringing coming from the back garden. He found a phone under a tree and gave it to gardaí.

Analysis of the device linked it to Garrett Lyster (22) who later admitted "keeping sketch" during the burglary. Lyster, of Casemount Grove, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty to burglary at the house in Finglas on May 12th, 2013.

Judge Catherine Murphy imposed a one-year sentence which she suspended on strict conditions. She wished Lyster the best and told him she did not want to see him again.

Sharp object

Eilis Brennan

, prosecuting, said that the couple, who are in their early 90s, were in bed when at about 4.30am the husband heard a noise. He took a saw which was kept under the bed and went to the bedroom door. One of the raiders put his hand in the door and the man hit it with the saw. The raider then struck the victim with a sharp object, cutting his hand before fleeing. Gardaí­ arrived shortly afterwards and the victim was taken to hospital.

The court heard there were no victim impact reports from the couple because the woman had Alzheimer’s disease and the man was very ill.

Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, submitted that Lyster, a father of two, was a vulnerable man who was easily led. He said he no longer associated with the peer group that had carried out the break-in.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times